A/N - Not usually into writing fluff, but I figured we all might need it today. Thinking of you all.
Once again, Brittany finds herself standing alone in her bedroom surrounded by boxes. It's a little weird seeing her room looking so bare, but this move doesn't drudge up the same kind of mournful feelings the last one did. This time there's excitement, there's anticipation, there's –
"Hey B," Santana gives a little tap at Brittany's bedroom door. "Need a hand?"
Brittany turns to find Santana giving her that same soft grin she has come to adore. She's leaned against the door frame, clad in her jean cut-offs and a plain t-shirt, and Brittany's never been so enamored.
"What?" Santana's grin widens.
Brittany smirks, "Can't I check out my hot girlfriend?"
Santana rolls her eyes although her cheeks flush, "Smooth as ever."
"You know it," Brittany winks before she goes to zip her suitcase. "You'll be happy to know that I've finally finished packing my room. It's been a super productive afternoon."
Santana sputters out a laugh as she glances around Brittany's bedroom. The walls are bare aside from a couple framed pictures Brittany couldn't find it in herself to take down. The desk by the window is neat and tidy for once too, but what makes Santana stop are the two gold crowns hanging off of one of Brittany's football trophies.
"Not taking these?"
Brittany turns to find Santana pulling one off and putting it on. She looks just as regal as she did on Prom night and it makes Brittany's heart feel so full. She can't help but reminisce at how beautiful Santana looked all done up – she really took her breath away that night.
"You'd love that, wouldn't you?" Brittany teases, "Too bad Quinn will be at Yale. I'm sure she's going to miss the constant reminder that we won instead of her and Mike."
"I can still text her," Santana quips as she takes off the crown and sets it down where she found it. She goes back to looking around the room again, "It doesn't look like you in here anymore."
"Yeah," Brittany sighs as she looks around too. Her eyes settle on Santana and she begins to grin, "But it'll be so much fun decorating our own place together. It'll look like the both of us."
"True," Santana grins, "I can't wait."
"I can't believe how fast the year went by," Santana mentions, "It feels like just yesterday that I was jumping off swings with you."
"You mean head-butting me?" Brittany jokes.
"That too," Santana laughs, "And now we're off to college…together."
"Not just yet," Brittany reminds her with a pat to her suitcase.
"That's right," Santana nods to it, "That everything?
Brittany looks down and smiles, "Yup!"
Santana eyes the lone bag warily, "You're only bringing one?"
"We're only going for two weeks," Brittany replies with a giggle, "You'd be surprised how much I fit in here. Bikinis don't take up that much space which is a plus."
She looks to Santana again hoping to see a smile but instead she finds her worrying her bottom lip. It makes Brittany chuckle as she closes the distance between them. Once she's close enough, her hands land on Santana's hips.
"Don't stress," She tells her sweetly, "That defeats the purpose of a vacation."
"I'm not stressed," Santana shrugs, "I'm just wondering…if I packed a little too much now?"
Brittany only giggles before pressing a kiss to Santana's lips.
"You're cute," She says.
Santana only sighs through her smile, "Can you tell I'm a little nervous?"
Santana pouts, "This is my first big road trip. I didn't want to forget anything."
Brittany wraps her arms around Santana, holding her close, "I'm sure you've got everything and if not we can always buy stuff. You know Florida does have a mall, right?"
Santana was a little hesitant about joining the Pierce Family on their vacation back down to Florida for Summer break because she didn't want to intrude on their family time, she's so considerate like that. Brittany couldn't imagine spending two whole weeks without her though, even Pete and Whitney begged for Santana to go.
Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to show her around Brittany's old stomping grounds and most importantly, take her to one of her favorite places. With all of that taken into consideration, Santana couldn't find it in her to deny Brittany this. She also didn't mind getting out of Lima for the Summer, beats tanning by the pool alone.
"Babe, this is going to be great," Brittany says earnestly, "It's going to be relaxing and we'll get to spend so much time together doing all kinds of fun things. It'll be exactly what we need before we have to leave for Columbus, because you know once we get there it'll be all work. I'll have to start football training again and you'll have cheer conditioning."
"You're right. Ohio State doesn't mess around," Santana nods as she begins smiling again, "This'll be great. I've never been on vacation like this before."
"Neither," Brittany grins before grabbing her suitcase again. "Let's go. We've got a lot of road to cover."
Brittany and Santana decide to drive Santana's car down to Florida ahead of Whitney and Pete who are catching a flight a couple days later. They take several pit stops along the way, making sure to snap silly photos by all of the state line signs so Santana can text them to Maribel and Hector to keep them updated on their adventure so far.
It probably takes them twice as long to make the trip, but it's well worth it when Brittany gets to watch Santana's eyes brighten as they finally cross the Florida state line.
"It's so much different than Lima," Santana says as she stares out the window at all the passing palm trees, their fronds waving hello in the warm breeze as they drive by.
Brittany only glances over with this cheek-bunching grin before she's back to concentrating on the road ahead.
A while later, they pull up to the rental Whitney organized and this time Brittany's the one who's in awe.
"No way!" She exclaims as she triple checks the address her mom gave.
"What is it?" Santana questions.
"I used to point this house out all the time when we lived here," Brittany tells her, "Pete and I called it the Unicorn House because of the pink shutters and the baby blue door. We always thought it was so cool, the most colorful house on the beach. I had no idea it was a rental!"
Santana smiles, "Well let's go check it out."
Relieved to stretch their legs and really start their vacation in the sun, Santana and Brittany make quick work of unloading the car and moving everything inside. Just like Brittany figured, the inside of the house was just as cool as the outside. All modern fixtures, colorful artwork decorating the walls, but the real attention-grabber was the view.
"Wow," They said in unison as they approached the back sliding doors that led out onto the terrace. It was nothing but white sand and clear blue water.
"Let's open it," Brittany says and goes to pull open the glass door. There's a light breeze and the scent of saltwater. Brittany smiles into it; she can't believe how much she's missed this.
Lima's been great to her, it's the place she met the most perfect girl ever, but this place will always hold a special spot in her heart too. As she glances to her side at her girlfriend, her smile grows because now she gets to share it with her too.
"What do you say we make a quick run to the shops so we can have breakfast out there?" Brittany suggest with a grin, "We can unpack and stuff later."
"Sounds awesome," Santana replies, "When's your mom and Pete flying in again?"
"Tomorrow afternoon," Brittany says as she gives a little tug at Santana's shirt, "We've got the whole place to ourselves until then."
Santana's grin widens, "Even better."
They decide to load up on fresh fruit, because after so many hours of fast food and gas station snacks they are dying for something healthy. Together they walk the aisles hand in hand, stopping every so often to add something to the basket Brittany carries.
It's not their first trip to the store together, but it feels different this time knowing that it's just them. Everyone they know is back in Lima, so doing something like grocery shopping together in Florida makes them feel so grown up and independent.
For a second, Brittany wonders if this is what it'll feel like once they move away together for college. She's sure the novelty of it all is bound to wear off the more they do it, but for now she leans into the excitement of it. The thought makes her feel giddy inside because she can't picture herself doing such a routine thing with anyone other than Santana.
"Should we get anything else?" Santana wonders after adding a punnet of blueberries to the basket.
Brittany looks at their haul so far and shakes her head, "Nah. We can just order take out later if we want?"
Santana nods and they make their way to the check out lane.
Back at the rental, Santana's in the kitchen getting all of their fruits washed and cut up when Brittany reappears clad in her bright pink bikini.
"Okay! Your turn," She calls out as she makes her way into the kitchen.
Santana does a quick glance up to reply then does a double take when she sees what Brittany has on. Her jaw drops at the sight and she nearly cuts off a finger!
"Woah," Santana says in time as her eyes rake up Brittany's tone figure, "I was not prepared."
"Should I put on a shirt?" Brittany jokes.
"No, no," Santana's quick to respond, "No shirts. You can stay just like that."
Brittany blushes as Santana continues checking her out. It makes her feel warm all over and a little confident too because usually Santana's the one getting her worked up. It's a nice change when the tables are turned.
"So, you want to go change and I'll finish here?" Brittany asks.
Santana's still staring as Brittany comes closer. She doesn't even blink until Brittany's tapping at the bottom of her chin with this smug grin on her face.
"Hmm?" She hums, "What?"
"Do you want to go change now?"
Santana smirks as she pulls Brittany in and pins her against the counter, "It's not really the first thing on my mind right now."
"Oh?" Brittany's grin turns devilish.
Santana bites her bottom lip as she plays with the knot at Brittany's hip. "The extra football training you've been doing is really paying off. Like I've always thought you were the hottest girl to ever walk the surface of the Earth, but damn."
"Go change," Brittany tells her with a giggle. "We'll never get to the beach at this rate."
"Fine by me," Santana teases as she wraps her arms around Brittany's waist and starts littering her neck with soft kisses. "Like so fine by me."
Brittany struggles because having Santana's lips on her is always kind of like kryptonite, but her desire to experience Santana's first trip to the beach outweighs spending the rest of the morning wrapped up in bedsheets. Call her crazy, but they've got all day to mess around meanwhile the sun's only out for so long.
"Baby, as good as this feels," Brittany sighs as she pulls away. She stares down at Santana lovingly, "I really want to take you to the beach first. Just you and me."
Santana cutely pouts and it has Brittany giggling.
"Come on," She says with a little pinch at Santana's side, "I think it'll be worth it."
"I think it opens up lots of opportunities to be a tease," Santana complains jokingly.
"Good thing we won't be far from here then," Brittany winks in return.
Once Santana finally got changed, she met Brittany back in the kitchen where the blonde had packed a bag with their breakfast and a couple bottles of water along with their beach towels. Brittany had her sunglasses sitting atop her head, her long blonde hair free from its messy bun from earlier.
"Ready?" She asked excitedly.
Santana only grinned as she reached for Brittany's hand to hold and together they made their way down the wooden terrace steps until their bare feet met warm sand. Brittany was already headed for the coastline, but Santana stopping held her back. She turned, wondering if Santana forgot something, when she realized it wasn't that at all.
Santana never felt the feeling of sand between her toes before.
A smile formed on Brittany's face as she watched Santana wiggle her toes. It was only for a moment, a little excited squeak of a giggle escaping the brunette before she looked up again – ready to go. Brittany only wrapped her arm around Santana's shoulders, kissing the top of her head as they started to walk again.
Picking the perfect spot was always something Brittany took pretty seriously, but on this section of the beach – any spot was perfect. They were just far enough away from the popular areas so it wasn't too crowded where they were.
"I've never seen water so blue," Santana admires as she stares at the crashing waves. "Beats the lake in Lima."
"Definitely," Brittany chuckles.
They end up laying out their blanket a few yards away from the water so they don't have to walk very far to get in. While Santana smooths out the blanket, Brittany sets down their bag and starts to pull out their towels and breakfast.
Together, they sit side by side and share from one bowl Santana found in the kitchen. It's a mix of all the fruit they picked up earlier and with their feet in the sand and the sound of the waves and seagulls in the distance they've never felt so at peace.
"Is it true that you have to wait thirty minutes after eating before you can swim?" Brittany wonders aloud. She's resting back on her elbows, her legs outstretched but she's still too far away to touch the water.
Santana shrugs, "I have no idea. Probably should though just to be safe."
"True," Brittany grins as Santana lies back too.
She's already starting to tan and Brittany can't take her eyes off of her. It's almost like this is too good to be true and she finds herself reaching out to touch just to make sure.
Once their thirty minutes are up, Brittany's on her feet trying to coax Santana into the water but who knew she'd put up such a fight?
"We didn't come all this way to just sit in the sand," Brittany teases as she tugs on Santana's hand, "Come on."
"That water is about to be cold as hell. No thank you!"
"Hell isn't cold, Santana."
"You know what I mean," Santana then gets up when she finally breaks out of Brittany's hold, "Now way I'm getting in."
"But it's not even cold," Brittany replies although she's not really sure since she hasn't tested it for herself. "Why are you picking right now to play hard to get?"
"You haven't seen nothing yet!" Santana jokes before taking off.
Brittany laughs the whole time as Santana ducks and dodges her advances until Brittany's speed finally does her in. Soon she's got Santana cradled in her arms bridal-style, carrying her towards the water like she weighs nothing.
"Britt! Brittany! Don't you dare!" Santana chastises between laughs, "I don't want to get my hair wet!"
Brittany only stomps her way through the water, "Who goes to the beach and doesn't want to get their hair wet? That's silly, San!"
"Me, that's who!" Santana giggles but she stops putting up a fight and just wraps her arms around Brittany's shoulders.
Their faces are so close with the way Brittany holds her that their noses brush when the blonde suddenly looks to her. Really, she's checking if Santana's actually being serious because if so then she'll happily take her back to shore but if not it's fair game. Instead though, she gets sidetracked by the brilliant smile she wears and how beautiful she looks with her hair down.
"I won't get you wet if that's really what you want," Brittany says innocently but there's a mischievous glint in her eye too.
She's standing still waist-deep in the water and Santana's butt is barely touching the surface. Brittany does her best to hop so that the incoming waves don't splash her which is pretty nice of her with all things considered. She could totally be that person and drop her without a second thought.
"Well, when you say it like that…" Santana starts to smirk.
Brittany lets out a laugh before she leans in for a kiss.
It was meant to be a distraction, but it ended up way steamier than she intended as she slowly sank to her knee so that they both dipped below the surface. She could feel Santana's teeth sink into her bottom lip from the initial shock of the water temperature but then it was soothed by her tongue gliding over the nip.
"See?" Brittany teases, "Not that cold."
Santana only rolls her eyes as Brittany adjusts her hold. She goes from cradling Santana to having her straddle her lap instead. It's a much riskier position than before, but neither of them complain.
As they get acclimated to the water, they slowly move from kissing to playfully splashing at each other as they wade around. They go back and forth like that for awhile until they move back to the shore to get their tan on.
"I'm having slight regrets that we'll be going to school in Ohio," Santana mentions awhile later as they lie on their stomachs, "Must be nice living close to a beach."
Brittany grins, "So you're liking your first trip then?"
"Baby, I love it," Santana replies happily and leans over to kiss her cheek, "And I love you."
"I love you too," Brittany coos before she gets to thinking, "If you love it that much we can always transfer down here? I'm pretty sure there's a few schools here that would love to poach me. You too."
"So tempting," Santana chuckles.
They lie like that for awhile longer before the sun gets to be a little much and they head back to the rental.
It's one of Brittany's favorite feelings, that tiredness after spending the day at the beach, and she coaxes Santana into the shower with her to get rid of all the sand and saltwater. Despite finally getting each other this close without any barriers between them, they're both too tired to actually make any moves.
Instead, they take turns standing underneath the cool water and washing off any residual sand.
Afterwards, they slip into something loose and tumble into bed with a yawn. They don't even bother getting under the sheets first, their sun-kissed skin still warm from the shower. The just cuddle up to one another and doze off within minutes.
Hours later, Brittany awakes to Santana tracing her finger along the bridge of her nose. She blinks away the last bit of sleepiness and looks around the room, surprised to see it drenched in hues of orange and gold from the setting sun.
"I think you might've gotten sunburnt," Santana mentions softly, "Your cheeks are a little pink."
Brittany touches them bashfully, "Yeah. They do that after I'm out too long. Doesn't hurt though, I put on sunscreen before."
"Okay," Santana smiles as her hand moves to rest on Brittany's hip.
The blonde looks to the window, "What time is it?"
"Shit," Brittany curses, "I didn't meant to sleep for that long."
"It's okay. You were tired," Santana replies as she starts circling Brittany's hipbone, "Hungry?"
There's a familiar rasp in Santana's voice and it has Brittany leaning in ever so slightly. She knows that tone, she's been quite familiar with it since the night she won a championship title with the Titans. It's come to be a favorite of hers.
"Starving," Brittany smirks.
Santana bites her lip, "Good."
"We can order a pizza," Brittany husks as she slips her thigh between Santana's, "I know just the place. They're notorious for taking way too long but the pizza manages to always be hot still."
"Perfect," Santana smirks before she's closing the distance.
The next day, they have a bit of a sleep in due to their…activities carrying on pretty late into the night. Free house to themselves? Of course they couldn't pass up the opportunity, but they're well-rested and get up to do a tidy of the house before going to pick up Pete and Whitney from the airport.
Again, Brittany feels that same feeling from the day before when she and Santana were out shopping for breakfast. She can't help but notice how easy it is for them to fall into such a domestic routine. It makes her feel so grown up, like it was just a couple weeks ago that she was graduating and sure she's always been pretty independent but it's different with Santana by her side.
When they get to the airport, they're only waiting for a little while before Pete's excitedly waving at them with Whitney trailing behind him. There's hugs all around when they finally meet before they make their way to baggage claim.
"Did you have fun on the plane ride over?" Santana asks Pete.
"It was okay," Pete shrugs, "Kind of bumpy but mom let me play games on her phone."
"Nice," Santana grins.
"Yup! Did you have fun driving here? Wait, did you guys go to the beach already?" Pete asks as he looks to his sister, "Britt's cheeks are pink."
Brittany's eyes widen, "Uh…"
"We might've gone for a little bit," Santana admits and watches Pete start to frown. He was pretty adamant about them waiting for him but Santana's quick to recover, "But that doesn't mean we can't go again today! You'll have to check with your mom first."
Pete's face fills with a mega-watt smile, so similar to Brittany's it's crazy.
"She'll totally say yes," He tells Santana, "Mom loves the beach too!"
"Sweet," Santana grins.
"Alright, we just need to pick up the rental car and we're out of here," Whitney says as Brittany follows behind with Pete's little suitcase.
"You didn't have to rent a car," Santana tells her, "I told you I was okay with sharing mine."
"You're too kind, honey," Whitney smiles, "But I'm sure you girls will want to explore the area too."
Santana just nods as Brittany comes up beside her, their fingers twining so casually.
"Speaking of rentals," Brittany mentions, "I can't believe you got the Unicorn House! It's so cool."
"We're staying at the Unicorn House?" Pete asks eagerly. Brittany nods to him and he just about combusts, "No way! That's the coolest house on the beach!"
"Totally," Brittany winks, "It's even cooler inside. Just you wait and see."
They all head to the rental house and it takes everyone no time at all before they're making their way out to the beach. Everyone except Whitney who runs to the store for snacks and something to eat for dinner because apparently they can't have pizza two nights in a row despite Brittany and Pete's protesting.
Again, it's nice to just lounge in the sun and cool off in the water whenever they want. Pete's here too while Whitney's at the store and Santana watches adoringly as he and Brittany toss their favorite football back and forth.
"Babe! Come play with us," Brittany calls out to her as she tosses the football to Pete in a perfect spiral.
"Yeah! Come play, Santana!" Pete chimes in.
"I'm fine getting my tan on from here," Santana answers then starts to smirk at Brittany. The way her muscles tense whenever she throws the ball or how her arms flex, it leaves Santana's mouth dry, "The view's not so bad either."
Brittany lets out a laugh as she readies for Pete to throw the ball back. She'd have to agree about the view though, hers isn't so bad too with Santana laid out in her maroon bikini on their beach blanket, skin glistening with sweat. She swallows dryly as her thoughts start to wander to the night before.
"Britt!" Pete shouts, "Look out!"
Brittany looks up and catches the football just in time before she's thumped in the head with it. Good thing her reflexes are as sharp as ever!
"Careful baby," Santana smirks before she's rolling onto her stomach to even out her tan.
Brittany only narrows her eyes playfully before she's throwing another perfect spiral in Pete's direction.
Once Whitney joins them, Pete goes from playing with Brittany to splashing in the shallow water with their mom. Brittany sits alongside Santana where they both share a bag of chips and watch Pete's splashes get bigger and bigger.
"You're so cute with him," Santana mentions.
Brittany raises her brow, "Speak for yourself."
Santana lets out a disbelieving laugh, "Right."
"You are," Brittany urges with a bump to Santana's shoulder, "He loves spending time with you. Not as much as I do, of course."
"You ever wish you had a younger sibling?" Brittany wonders.
"God, no. Never," Santana jokes before softening, "But seeing you two kind of makes me second guess it. Then again, Pete's cool so you're lucky."
"True," Brittany giggles. There's another pause before Brittany speaks up again in a softer tone, "Thanks for coming out on this trip with us. I know you were a little iffy at first, but it wouldn't be the same without you."
"Thanks for inviting me," Santana replies with this smitten little grin on her face. "We should totally make this an annual thing."
"Coming back here?"
"Yeah," Santana nods, "It's like our reset button. No matter how busy or crazy it gets wherever we are, we can always come back here and just – reset. It would be nice."
Brittany starts to smile. Santana mentioning doing something every year means she anticipates them being together for a really long time which duh but making plans like that in advance makes it all feel a little more real. She always thought her strong feelings might've been a little exaggerated since they're young and love always feels so all-encompassing, but then Santana goes and says something like that.
This love, it's bigger than she thought. Maybe it's even one of those forever kinds of love and that kind of thinking makes Brittany happier than ever.
"We can totally do that," Brittany agrees before she leans in for a chaste kiss. She can feel Santana smiling too against her lips and she's never felt more complete.
Whatever this upcoming year plans to throw their way, whether it be on the field or in the classroom or even at home, Brittany's totally ready for it.
Because together, well…anything is still possible.
If you'd like to show your appreciation a little differently this time around, consider treating me to a coffee because if anyone loves a coffee break - it's me...get it? lol anyway, you can look me up on Ko-Fi: Wheresmynaya